Alert
Close

Take AARP’s Smart Driver course and you could save money on your car insurance. Learn more

Highlights

Close

Think You Know AARP Caribbean Cruise Sweepstakes

Money & Work

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

11 Ways to Avoid Costly Home Repairs

Maintain your house now, so you can avoid big problems later on

En español  |  Your house talks to you — and what is it saying? It's giving you early warning signs of potential trouble at its most vulnerable spots, and by paying attention you can prevent costly repairs down the road.

 

HVAC (Heating and Cooling)

 

Problems: Reduction in performance; fire; water damage; higher energy costs; mold throughout the house.

Trouble signs: System cycles on and off frequently to keep to a thermostat setting and/or trips circuit breakers. Natural gas flames are yellow or orange rather than blue. Corrosion/rust spots or leakage from water heater.

What you can do: Replace air filters every one to three months to improve performance. Experts recommend that a water heater that's 12 or more years old should be replaced, partly due to the danger of bursting. Replace it earlier if you see corrosion or leaking. Consider a new HVAC system if repairing it is at least one-third the cost of replacement.

What it may cost: Air filters cost $2 to $15. $100-$200 for a professional inspection and cleaning of HVAC system.

What you can save: Energy waste, premature replacement of costly units, repair of flooding damage. Water heaters start at $350; forced-air furnaces cost $2,000 to $4,000, and central air conditioning units start at around $2,000. Clean filters can lower energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent.

 

  — Photo by Getty Images

10 of 13

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Life insurance: you are covered rain or shine

Exclusive annuities for members from AARP Lifetime Income Program from New York Life.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Homeowners Insurance
Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.